Jay Miner Memorial Video
Jason Compton

Jay Miner is the ultimate in Amiga cult icons. While he is not necessarily everyone's personal hero, it is generally accepted in the Amiga mythos that more or less everything got its start with him, even if he was ultimately burned and disgusted by Commodore and spent the rest of his life largely in non-Amiga pursuits. Jay did not live to see the Escom or Gateway eras in the Amiga's history...whether we pity him or envy him for that is another issue.

In 1989, the Metroplex Commodore Computer Club (MCCC) had Jay as their guest for their annual METCOM Amiga gathering. At the event, Jay gave a talk and fielded questions from Amiga users, and someone was clever enough to tape the event for posterity. Now that Jay Miner has passed, the MCCC decided that perhaps people might want something to remember the man by.

The Memorial tape first replays Jay's speech, along with some of the commercial Amiga advertising (yes, there really was some) of the time. Jay's speech is largely very measured and consistent--he's not a rockstar or a crowd-player, he's just recounting his story and the Amiga's story. He then fields questions from the crowd, which range from everything from an anachronistic discussion on the relative merits of MaxiPlan to a few condemnations of Commodore (and another anachronistic reference to "twelve [American] Amiga magazines"...we wish..). Some stories you've likely heard before, others are worth hearing for the first time.

After Miner's speech, the second half of the tape is devoted to more MCCC-specific concerns. Their first 5 METCOMs are documented, with various footage (most of it in 1.3 blue and white given the timeframe, but the 1990 and '91 versions bring 2.x on to the screen) being shot from all sorts of programs. There's a neat demo of the GVP IV24 in the 1991 footage but it doesn't really go much beyond using the card as a framebuffer, genlock, and flickerfixer.

Obviously, the second half of the tape isn't going to be as engrossing as the first. The quality of the footage varies somewhat across the entire tape--the Miner portion is well enough shot (Although a little dark) and it's sometimes difficult to hear the questions being asked of Jay, although his voice is clear. It's a neat trip into the past. There's no vitriol or dirty jokes ala Deathbed Vigil, just one of the founding fathers of the Amiga sounding off. For US$15, I think it's a good buy.

PO Box 813
Bedford, Texas 76095
Metroplex Computer Club

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